Rugby taken to a fresh field

BY CAROLYN ENTING
Last updated 05:00 24/09/2010
Fashion Week - Nom*D
JOHN SELKIRK Zoom
Fashion from the theatrical Nom*D show offsite at NZ Fashion Week.
NZ Fashion Week - The Stolen Girlfriends Club
JOHN SELKIRK/Auckland Bureau Zoom
Fashion from The Stolen Girlfriends Club at NZ Fashion Week
A model gets her make-up done
JOHN SELKIRK/The Dominion Post
EYES CLOSED: A model gets the treatment backstage before the AgResearch show.

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Fashion and rugby don't usually play on the same team but this morning they're coming together on the catwalk at New Zealand Fashion Week in the Miromoda show.

Blaire Archibald, 21, of Rotorua, will be showcasing a collection inspired by his grandfather, former NZ Maori John Marriner who played for the team in 1949, and was its coach in 1950 and 1951.

"I saw my grandfather as a really gentle person, though he played for the [NZ Maori] and was strong and had to be quite aggressive and masculine, but I didn't see him like that. I tried to juxtapose those two qualities into my clothing," Archibald said.

This is translated by soft shoulder lines, layers, and fluid silhouettes toughened up with wool suiting, felted wool, suede hats and a range of bags, including a duffle, embroidered with the Poverty Bay Rugby Football Union shield.

"It was one of the many clubs of which he was a member. He would always collect badges on tour. It's symbolic of his journey and experiences playing rugby," Archibald said.

The roughness of rugby is also conveyed in the colours – muted browns and khaki green – taking references from how men dressed in the late 1940s/early 1950s, playing on dirt and grass, and wooden goalposts of rural playing fields. "I wanted to convey a real down-in-the-dirt feeling with the fabrics," Archibald said.

Now doing his honours in fashion at Auckland University, he won the opportunity to debut at Fashion Week when he won the supreme award at the Miromoda Fashion Awards in Wellington in July.

Wellington duo Rachel Easting and Anjali Stewart were first up on the catwalk yesterday, showcasing their 2011 winter collection The Fearsome Five, which referenced "schooldays when uniforms classified us".

Liz Mitchell, best known for her red-carpet frocks, sent out some jaw-dropping gowns accessorised with jewellery by Wellington designer Alison Blain.

The Carpenter's Daughter, which debuted last year, got its second Fashion Week standing ovation. Models ranged in size (12 to 24) and age. The label has been on the tip of the wave of a trend for plus-size fashion. The October issue of French Vogue celebrates the magazine's 90th anniversary with a plus-sized issue, and New York designer Marc Jacobs is launching a fuller-figure line.

Founder Caroline Marr said she wanted to "make all women, regardless of culture or size, feel worthy of fashion. There is certainly an acceptance of the plus-sized market as taking fashion seriously, and we're thrilled to be a part of that movement for change."

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Matchi Motchi sent out a sci-fi avant garde collection that would not have looked out of place at WoW.

America's Next Top Model winner Krista White modelled for New York designer Nicole Miller, who ticked all the right boxes, sending out a mostly black collection of knits, jackets and sophisticated party frocks. Forty per cent of what Miller showed was designed for the show and will be released in June.

FASHION ISLAND

What's hot: The colour khaki has marched into every designer collection.

What's not: A 40 per cent off sticker on the sole of a boot in the Mena show. Not a good look.

Whisper: A high-profile model was dropped from the Trelise Cooper show at the last minute because of her supposedly bad attitude during fittings. The model burst into tears when given the news and said she couldn't think of any occasion when she had been rude, and "felt accused".

Guests to Huffer's show tonight have been told to "dress warmly". The after-party is being held at hip new bar and club The Third And Social.

Best goodie bag: The Carpenter's Daughter. Contents: Mindfood mag, chocolate, scarf, TL+C makeup bag.

Celebrity front row: Keisha Castle-Hughes (Nicole Miller); Lorraine Downes, Aaron Gilmore and Petra Bagust (Turet Knuefermann), Brooke Fraser and Amber Peebles (Twenty-Seven Names).

On the catwalk today: Miro Moda, Blak Luxe, Trelise Cooper Kids, Huffer, Karen Walker and New Zealand Fashion Week Retrospective show celebrating the event's 10th year.

- The Dominion Post

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